I got that result, however, during a period in which I was still — largely unwittingly — copying others. One reason for this is that people may answer questions during a period of stress, in which they are manifesting sides of themselves which are normally suppressed. And what about the other fifteen types? Our subconscious or aspirational self is linked with the inferior function of the ego. The top or dominant function of the aspirational type is the same as the inferior function of the ego.
The subconscious or aspirational type represents the type of person we aspire to be and potentially already think ourselves to be — an aspiration which we may or may not have presently achieved. Like the shadow, the superego is a part of ourselves which we have often suppressed, and which we tend to dislike and resist recognizing in ourselves.
It may be an identity we felt pressured to espouse — or not to — in our childhood. When faced with problems, we often try to solve them with our ego, shadow, and aspirational sides first. The Aspirational or Subconscious type is always the complete opposite of the ego in letters. Admittedly, these nicknames or labels are pitifully limited.
If you find them so, not to worry! There are more limiting labels listed at the end with which you can swap the one I decided to use for your type.
When it comes to the four sides of the mind, C. Joseph again explains things pretty well. Check out his work! He started creating and posting content when he was anticipating a potentially shortened life expectancy due to liver problems. At that time, he had already been studying typology for about ten years. In order to make this chart aesthetically pleasing, I was only able to include one label per type. Most of us access multiple sides of our mind on a daily basis.
However, much of this tends to transpire beneath the plane of consciousness. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account.
The Sixteen Types – Ego, Shadow, Subconscious, and Superego Dimensions
Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email.If you really want to dive deep into the more complex and rarely discussed aspects of personality type, then delving into the shadow functions can be a lot of great fun and very helpful! You might have learned about the dichotomies like introversion and extroversion. For most people, the study of personality type ends at the cognitive functions, particularly the primary function stack.
What else can you learn, after all? Not sure what your personality type is? Take our new personality questionnaire here. If you are an ISFJ, your function stack would be as follows:. While the study of our four main functions is extremely helpful, it can be just as helpful to learn about our four shadow, or non-preferred, functions. In Psychological TypesCarl Jung spent a great deal of time discussing archetypes.
Archetypes are recurring symbols or motifs in literature, art, or mythology. Jung found that certain symbols appeared in every culture and that humans had inborn tendencies that resembled each of these archetypes. It is the dark, unlived, and repressed side of the self. It contains repressed memories, primitive, negative, or socially depreciated human emotions and impulses. It lies in opposition to our ego. According to typologists, our dominant and auxiliary functions lie at the core of our ego and gradually as we develop our tertiary and inferior functions, they too become part of the ego.
As a result, our ego tends to be a combination of carefully selected qualities, and unfavorable qualities that could make us feel bad about ourselves are often discarded into the unconscious. Shadow functions can be highly destructive or a catalyst for growth and self-actualization. Their main goal is to stabilize us and prevent ego inflation and disruption of the ego from threats to our integrity.
We may also project their negative aspects onto other people. To understand the shadow functions accurately, we need to understand the primary functions as well. You can see an example of this in the graphic below.
This function is at the core of your ego and is your most easy to develop and control. Understanding and differentiating your dominant function is an important part of self-actualization.
One of the main reasons why one develops a persona is so as not to expose inferiorities, especially the inferiorities of the fourth function.
The inferior function is intrinsically linked to the dominant function. It is often a source of shame and it may take a great deal of time before we feel comfortable using it consciously. Healthy development of the dominant function relies on some healthy development of the inferior function. People who suppress the inferior function for most of their lives become one-sided, imbalanced, and unhealthy.
This function helps to balance our dominant function and it also is what we use when we comfort and nurture others. The child function is also how we like to be comforted many times but not necessarily always. For example, if your tertiary function is extraverted feeling Feyou might want to be comforted by receiving empathy, affirmation, and harmonious acceptance. Good integration of the Child into the ego means allowing ourselves to be playful, silly, irresponsible, and vulnerable when appropriate and healthy.
It also may be what you use when you become argumentative or lash out at someone or something that feels threatening to your ego. The opposing role is also extremely easy for us to project onto other people. Because our experience with that function is largely negative, when other people use that same function even in a positive way we can risk seeing them as being oppositional, passive-aggressive, or having hidden motives.
You might see Fe-users as somewhat oppositional to you from time to time.When it comes to being under times of stress, most times can go into their shadow mode.
This can be a way to self-protect, but can also simply be because this person is feeling overwhelmed and no longer trusting in their natural instincts.
For the INTP this can be a difficult to state of mind to be in, since they are naturally analytical people who do their best to understand the things which happen to them. The dominant function for the INTP is their Ti introverted thinking which makes them highly analytical and often factual people.
They use their inner thoughts and minds to take apart information and dive into it on a much deeper level. This dominant function is the go-to for the INTP when it comes to making decisions and understand the world around them.
They process information through their internal way of thinking, which helps them to uncover the truth where others might fall. This also makes the INTP excellent at problem solving, since they use all of the facts and details to help them figure out the smartest path to take. They use this time of thinking to process information and is what makes the INTP rather logical minded people.
Their auxiliary or second placement function is their Ne extraverted intuition. They use this to see various patterns around them, which helps them explore different information. The INTP combines this with their introverted thinking, and this helps to discover new information and analyze it. Their intuition helps them to see all of these connections from the information, which is truly useful when it comes to making conclusions and uncovering the truth that might be hiding underneath layers of information.
This also makes the INTP rather creative when it to their ideas and different theories they put together. This helps the INTP discover things that most people might be hesitant to even explore.
Their introverted sensing often displays itself by using facts from the past to make patterns with more future related information. INTPs also show this function by being nostalgic at times, reminiscing on past situations and events. Their minds can sometimes get caught up thinking about these things, analyzing whether or not they could have done something differently, or whether they should have found a different path.
The inferior function of the INTPs function stack is their Fe extraverted feelingwhich normally connects with the emotions of others.
This can be a challenging one for the INTP to really strengthen, since they are more ruled by logic than emotions. This often displays itself by the INTP second guessing their thoughts and feelings, wanting to know how the other person truly feels.
They may replace the emotions with facts, analyzing the little pieces they recieve. When the INTP attempts to dominantly use this function it can cause them to be more direct, and even a bit aggressive in their attempts to get things done.
It can also cause the INTP to struggle with trusting people, especially those who possess dominant Te. Those people will seem like they are attempting to control others, especially the INTP. Because of this they want to avoid this type of person, or may even challenge them in some ways. They are likely to be more short-tempered when they are in their shadow, because this Te is presenting itself in confused and unhealthy ways.
Attempting to organize everything, even the people around them, in hopes of getting things done and making some sort of real progress around them. They lose patience when it comes to people making mistakes, and appear much less forgiving and understanding than normal. This presents itself as authoritative behavior, the INTP attempting to be the boss and in control of those around them. For the INTP this can cause them to jump to conclusions, trying to come up with future ideas without using their natural means of doing so.
These feelings are rarely connected to facts or real evidence, but the INTP is following hunches which causes them to become a bit paranoid.
Where the INTP normally uses their introverted sensing, they become focused on extraverted sensing. Instead they may attempt to overcompensate, challenging people in physical ways and attempting to be more reckless. They are likely to have doubts about their own behaviors, this inner voice of theirs turning to blaming themselves and others. The INTP starts to question their moral beliefs, and might become constantly on edge about their feelings or the feelings of others.
This often happens when the INTP is under times of extreme stress and self-doubt. When their own beliefs and inner knowledge are challenged or shaken in a serious way, it causes the INTP to feel overwhelmed. This can cause them to retreat into this shadow mode, often searching for new methods to help them solve these problems. Being unable to remove the stress from their lives creates a sort of shift for the INTP, sending them into their shadow mode and causing them to behave in much more unhealthy methods.However, there is an extra layer of INTP depth and darkness we have not explored.
This layer is exposed during seasons of stress. It is the INTP shadow. John Beebe. However, even we may begin to recognize our shadows when they are unearthed in periods of distress. This is not to discredit or lessen the stressful experiences of other INTPs!
Ever read Bite Me? The leading cause of Lyme-related deaths is suicideif that gives some indication of how mind-altering and oppressive the disease can be. Some types of chronic illness can really alter your personality and neural biochemistry that much. This is mostly pre-shadow. Due to their introverted sensingthe stressed INTP may become extra rigid or trapped in an area of life such as an oppressive, fear- and rules-based system which they associate with both childlike comfort and childlike boundaries.
The INTP is generally not attracted to excessive restriction, as they place a heavy premium on autonomy. Under stress, however, they will often become complacent and accept the rigidity of a less-than-ideal structure for the reward of familiarity, comfort, and the freedom to be, well, apathetic, perhaps because they no longer have the energy to care, and tend to have developed some apathy in general depending on the area of life.
Joseph describes apathy as a form of self-defense for the INTP, although for a slightly different reason than covered here. In times of stress, the INTP may resort to prison bars of familiarity, and be more easily provoked if someone attempts to pull them away from that.
Conversely, the INTP may become severely reactive to areas of rigidity in their life, taking an extreme approach and fighting that introverted sensing area with extra zeal and paranoia, fueled by their heightened extroverted intuition. This is their outlet for relief, and often the next-to-last attempt to cope more healthily with stress. This could manifest as an electronics collection, drawing, or mastering a DIY skill such as homemade makeup or bread.
This could manifest in shouting matches or as emotional eruption for example, the INTP becomes so frustrated and overwhelmed, that they have to quickly leave the room in order to avoid blowing up on — or sobbing in front of — everyone. The INTP may begin to project onto others their own personal suffering and stress, and be confused into perceiving that others are suffering from the same cause of distress as they are, and require the same degree of comfort they are currently craving or never received.
This can result in an awkward form of smothering or overprotection of others. Many INTPs would not recognize or acknowledge this type of fear in themselves, which is one reason it is found more in the inferior Fe and in the discarded unconscious self the shadow. The INTP wants to be self-sufficient and not emotionally dependent on others, so this fear of abandonment, when it exists, is stuffed deep down in the unconscious. That would be too vulnerable. If they are attacked and overwhelmed beyond what the weak extroverted feeling can endure, the gate to the dark side is opened.
Some former acquaintances from my more energetic years have seen glimpses of the ENTJ shadow, but mostly, it has unfortunately manifested around family during times of stress. One of the benefits of the ENTJ shadow is that I get things done in a visually tangible way, and make significant progress from a certain viewpoint in my life.
As you can see, emotional fears — such as fear of relational abandonment — would typically get stuffed at the very bottom of the shadow, in introverted feeling.
What does this look like? As is the case for most people, however, my shadow reveals both some frightening and useful traits. I become extremely practical, industrious, and efficient this is an extroverted thinking opposing role trait, along with potentially extroverted sensing. My combative and argumentative ability and readiness is heightened, and I tend to be less concerned about speaking entirely diplomatically whereas the INTP tends to be more diplomatic.
This can be the ENTJ shadow extroverted sensing trickster at work.If you recently took a personality test related to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator MBTI and your results labeled you as an INTP introverted, intuitive, thinking, perceivingyou likely want to learn a little more about this personality type.
INTPs are usually quiet, analytical people that enjoy being alone. INTPs like learning new things when they are by themselves, and often use their spare time to solve problems. That way, once you are done reading, you should have more personal insight into your personality type. Psychologist Carl Jung first suggested the idea that personality types are so varied because each personality type features different cognitive functions.
However, the dominant function will receive some support from the auxiliary or second function. The last cognitive function is inferior and mostly takes place at the unconscious level, but it symbolizes a point of weakness.
For an INTP, their dominant cognitive function is introverted thinking, and we certainly see this in INTPs when they are trying to figure out how something works. An INTP will enjoy breaking down ideas, or taking things apart and putting them back together to see how they work.
INTPs are very logical and intelligent and enjoy learning. They like to analyze and do their research before they take action or form opinions about anything.
INTPs demonstrate this when they explore what-if questions. Most INTPs use insight and imagination as well as experience to form ideas and opinions. INTPs spend much time thinking about the future and looking at things from all angles. However, when they are around people that they are comfortable with, then they can be quite outgoing.
However, when they feel stressed, an INTP will shut down their emotions, and that makes it difficult for them to bond with others.
INTPs are highly intelligent, and that means they can be very sarcastic, especially when they are around other people with which they feel comfortable. On top of this, INTPs tend to have a dry sense of humor that often baffles others.
For many INTPs, sarcasm helps them cope when they are in intensely frustrating or stressful situations. When this happens to an INTP, he or she will become isolated, harsh, and disinterested in people they usually care to be around otherwise.
INTPs enjoy being blunt and honest, but that can cause them to offend others they genuinely love. When that happens, an INTP will do whatever it takes to be alone.This article goes into a lot of depth about the INTP personality type and their cognitive functions. If you want to get a good introduction to the cognitive functions, check out this guide here.
Not sure what your personality type is? Take our new personality questionnaire here. Healthy balanced INTPs are excellent at grasping underlying principles and truths and applying those to new concepts and frameworks. They are creative, innovative, and skilled at solving complex problems and creating models and ideas that can be altogether life-changing. They are usually interested in theorizing, exploring, and understanding how the world works. INTPs will naturally value their top three functions a great deal especially their dominant function.
As a result, INTPs can see their inferior Extraverted Feeling as intrusive, meddling, people-pleasing and desperate to be liked. They may stifle this function in themselves or devalue it in others.
INTPs may devalue introverted feeling or misunderstand Fi-users as a result. All of us, regardless of our type, need to be aware that all the cognitive functions are useful and valuable. This way we can improve our relationships with other types who process things differently than we do and form better relationships.
INTPs who are especially unhealthy or immature can function with a warped introverted thinking process. They can appear isolative, disinterested in others, or harsh. They may pride themselves on being extremely direct and unconcerned with social niceties, only to offend people they care about or who care about them.
At work and in life they want most of all to avoid being interfered with. They will go to extreme lengths to be left alone. In relationships, unhealthy INTPs can be brutal in their criticism of others, but they justify this by believing they are merely pointing out the truth.ENTJ & INTP: "Mirror" Types
They hate being told what to do and will be difficult to manage in many work settings because they have such little interest in cooperating with a team or taking orders. Keeping up with deadlines, obeying traditional rules, or responding with empathy to the needs of their co-workers can hold very little importance to them. INTPs who fall into this category have usually not had a healthy childhood or background with which to develop and appropriately express their functions.
They may try to mold their logic to fit in with a possibility or concept they want to realize. INTPs tend to feel the most threatened when their independence is at stake. When this happens, they can:. Not every unhealthy INTP is going to fit the exact description above. They may struggle with certain issues mentioned, but not all.
Here are some other weaknesses to look out for:. Because INTPs value Introverted Thinking to such a strong degree they can risk over-using it or relying on it at the expense of their other functions. They may appear overly critical, or they may become tied to their internal model or framework of how things work and refuse to accept new data.If you want to get deeper into the MBTI system, then you need to go beyond the dichotomies and even deeper than the functions.
Learning about the shadow functions and how they will affect your personality and your development, is a good way to start these explorations. It will open up new paths of development and help you understand what you do and why on a much deeper level. The most prominent theory is that shadow functions are exactly what they sound like.
And in terms of the MBTI system, this usually refers to the cognitive functions that are the opposites of your strengths. In the MBTI system, everyone has four cognitive functions that determine their personality type and guide their behavior.
These four letters dictate the cognitive functions that you use, are most comfortable with, and can build strength in. For example, ENFPs have the following function stack:.
INTPs Under Stress: The Shadow Functions
However, your personality is also affected by the opposites of these dominants. When you use your dominant functions, you naturally suppress their opposites, and this gives rise to the idea of shadow functions. John Beebe was one of the first researchers to introduce the idea of the shadow functions in his Eight Function Model.
According to this model, the shadow functions are the opposite of your primary functions. So, following the previous example, an ENFPs shadow functions would be:.
Basically, the introverted and extraverted natures of the functions are flipped around to create the shadow functions. This is all tied in with your ego and who you think you are. The primary functions are a part of your ego, particularly your dominant and auxiliary.
The tertiary and inferior functions can become part of the ego as you develop them. As a result, they only come out when your ego or core is under threat. The ego is an important part of your psyche and protecting it is important. But protecting it against everything is inadvisable. The ego can lie, become overinflated, and stunt your growth and development. And this is where the good side of the shadow functions comes in. They can be destructive if used incorrectly, but if used correctly they can stabilize and protect the ego.
They can also prevent it from becoming overinflated by giving you a needed reality check. They can make you behave in ways that are irrational, morally ambiguous, or completely unreasonable.
Using this copying mechanism can be a very bad thing sometimes.